Monday, May 13, 2013

On Moonshots and Elon Musk

'Moonshots', the term coined by Google's Larry Page, in reference to its wide and wild adventures in areas of technology, humanities etc., which are no less feats than the humanity's moon landing saga.  Larry used the term emphatically when Andy Rubin, the head of Google's Android division stepped down to 'pursue moonshots elsewhere in Google'.  Larry also referred to its Glass Project and the Self-Driving car Project to highlight the importance of moonshots.

What exactly does a 'Moonshot' consist of?  Why not ask Larry himself?  Larry says that he lives by the gospel of 10x.  That is, a 10% improvement in a product is not worth the time and effort.  If you can do it 10x times, it probably is.  What he means is that if you cannot improve upon something by a thousand percent than the competition, then it's not worth Google's moonshot.  He has truly lived by that so far. 

So now having understood the meaning of moonshots, who can we think of doing the best?  Larry Page, the late Steve Jobs,  Mark Zuck?  Who?  If  you ask me, it's none of these.  It's the lesser known Elon Musk.  Where can I start?  The great man started his venture with PayPal.  Heard of it?  I bet you have.  But that was only the beginning.  His current ventures include SpaceX, Tesla Motors and SolarCity.  These industries are as wide and disparate as the colors in white.  SpaceX is the world's first private space vehicle launching company.  Tesla Motors has hailed all of us into an era of Electric vehicles, and Solar City is his venture to harness solar power and is the single largest provider of solar power in the US.  He even plans to set up settlements on Mars by 2020, a timeline which even NASA is wary of committing.

In my view he is the true Tony Stark of our generation.  In such a small time, he has brought a new wave of optimism.  He has defined in true sense the meaning of Moonshots.  I often envision myself doing something of his sorts.  That would perhaps make a life count lived.  I salute him and hope to meet him personally one day.
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